What was it like to be disabled before the era of curb cuts and accessible restrooms? Why should we care, and what does it tell us about how disabled people accessed the world in early America? Through an exploration of original artifacts from the scholar’s collection, participants will discuss what it was like to be disabled in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Highlighting a topic that affects everyone at one point or another, this session will increase awareness of disability history and disability justice and activism in America today.
Nicole Belolan is a historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American social and cultural history. She earned a PhD in the History of American Civilization at the University of Delaware. Currently, Belolan is the Public Historian in Residence at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers University-Camden and the Co-Editor/Digital Media Editor for the National Council on Public History.
Supported by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative.